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Chasing After Wind

By Cathy Irvin
Staff Writer - Are you content with what you have and are you resting in the Lord? Or are you striving for more and feeling turmoil in your spirit?

Better one handful with tranquility [peace] than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 4:6

Let's get some perspective on what it is we are seeking and what drives us to be discontented. We must face the fact that we really do get into the flesh. It is called being "carnally minded." The desire for so much materialism can rob us of our peace and can empty out our financial resources. We tend to strive to keep up with the neighbors or feed off every ad that we see or read. It is the "I gotta have it" syndrome.

We can get so caught up and consumed by the first thing we see that we are not looking for the best buy. We lack the fruit of the Spirit called patience.

And don’t think materialism is just a problem for women. Men can get just as easily distracted at big sales for recreational items and automobiles. We are all guilty of lusting for more.

Is there a way of escaping this dilemma? Yes, help is on the way. Jesus has a plan to help us: to exercise self-control and to be wise in our financial decisions.

We must not chase after material things because it is like chasing the wind. We are running, yet we are never satisfied. You will find yourself caught up in a whirlwind all the time.

Last year I eliminated my debt and got rid of my credit cards. I have learned to live without them. I had to put my mind to it and to discipline myself with my finances. It was worth it!

Whether it is our eating habits, our exercise habits, or our spiritual habits of reading the Bible, praying, and attending church, we must take the time and effort to work on these areas.

The point is that we all need to find out what is important in life and then learn to use some self-control.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23

I thought I could not make it without charging. Now if I really want to purchase or need a more costly item, I save a little at a time. Then when there are sales, I take the time to find the best bargain. I had a small, older TV, so I saved the money and got a new and bigger one in the mid-price range. The Lord certainly provided.

Matthew 6:19-21 speaks of our treasures in heaven:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

It isn't wrong to buy nice things, but is wrong to be consumed by them. If they take up all of our time and focus, then we need to remind ourselves that we need self-control.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 5:16

That is the key for us. We need to walk after spiritual things and to desire them more than the things of this world!

All Scriptures are quoted from the New International Version of the Bible.

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